Land Conservation

Lake Pleasant Conservation Area

Lake Pleasant is an approximate 64-acre natural lake. The Conservation Area includes most of the lake’s shoreline, as well as wetlands, upland forests, old fields and reclaimed gravel mines.




Forming part of the headwaters of French Creek, Lake Pleasant is considered the finest example of a natural, glacially formed inland lake in northwest Pa. The lake is recharged primarily by groundwater traveling through glacial sediments containing large amounts of limestone. This natural filtration helps maintain water quality and provide habitat features for rare and unique plant communities. In fact, the lake and surroundings support at least nine Pennsylvania Endangered species.

General Information


Venango, Green and Waterford townships, Erie County, Pa.

Dates Acquired



Approximately 582 acres

Notable Features

Natural lake, wetlands, old fields

Please note:

Portions of the Conservation Area are currently closed to the public - SEE MAP FOR DETAILS


Located approximately 8 miles south of the City of Erie and I-90. Follow Lake Pleasant Road to the intersection of Valley Road. From there, Valley Road leads to the western side of the lake and WPC’s accessible parking area, boardwalk, dock and canoe/kayak launch (look for the entrance on the left). Lake Pleasant Road continues around the eastern side of the lake and  provides access to a PA Fish and Boat Commission parking area and boat launch. Please use caution and watch for traffic along Lake Pleasant Road.VIEW ON MAP

Recreational Activities


Non-motorized boat access is available at a PA Fish and Boat Commission launch located off Lake Pleasant Road. In addition, a universal access trail, boardwalk and canoe/kayak launchis located along the western shoreline. To avoid spreading invasive species, boats and other gear should be thoroughly cleaned and allowed to completely dry prior to entering the lake.

Wildlife Watching

Wildlife watchers can explore the many habitat types found throughout the Conservation Area. Beavers are abundant at the lake outlet and within numerous small wetlands. Bird observations have included osprey, bald eagle, American bittern, green heron, swamp sparrow, eastern bluebird and veery.

Hunting and Fishing

Both hunting and fishing are permitted in accordance with state regulations, although hunting is not permitted on Sundays. Please exercise caution and wear blaze orange during hunting season.  Trapping is not permitted. 

Visiting Guidelines

When visiting Lake Pleasant Conservation Area, please remember:

  • Only non-motorized boats are permitted.
  • To avoid spreading aquatic invasives, thoroughly clean and dry boats and other gear before entering the lake.
  • Vehicles, including ATVs and bicycles, are prohibited.
  • Camping and campfires are prohibited.
  • If you carry it in, carry it out.
  • Dogs must be on a leash or otherwise kept under control at all times.
  • Collecting (animals, plants, rocks, etc.) without WPC permission is prohibited.
  • Review the Guidelines for Public Use of WPC Properties document prior to your visit

*WPC is pleased to thank the following supporters for making the universal access trail, boardwalk and canoe/kayak accessibility improvements possible:

PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
Erie County Greenways Program
Northwest Commission Greenways Block Grant Program

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation

Plan Your Visit

Lake Pleasant Conservation Area GPS Coordinates: 42.003923, -79.902495

Paddling the lake is a must, but using the accessible launch along the western shoreline requires transporting your boat down a 700-ft. gravel path. If you’re by yourself, you may want to use a dolly. Also, be sure to apply sunscreen before heading out on the water, and wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Be prepared for your visit with the following resources. We recommend downloading these files to your device prior to visiting.

Maps of Lake Pleasant Conservation Area


Get Directions


Find Trails & Activities


Explore the WPC Map

For More Information:

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
800 Waterfront Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

toll-free: 1-866-564-6972
fax: 412-231-1414